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SF varnish power to Amtrak/Recalling the "Super C"
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   SF varnish power to Amtrak/Recalling the "Super C"
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   Author  Topic: SF varnish power to Amtrak/Recalling the "Super C"  (Read 551 times)
Norm_Anderson
Historian
Posts: 1726
Re: SF varnish power to Amtrak/Recalling the "Super C"
 
« Reply #40 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 10:39pm »
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E8M, I'm sorry but I couldn't locate the article on the Kan-Haul site (but they had a lot of other cool info about their services!)
 
I had heard the term "Red Ball" for many years, but had always assumed it was just a bit of railroad slang, like hotshot or shooter.  I didn't know it had an actual history.
 
So I went over to wikipedia and discovered that a "Red Ball" system of trucking played an important role in the Allied advance across Europe between D-Day and VE Day.  (They even made a movie about it in 1952!)  And, this term had itself been lifted from Santa Fe practice!
 
Here's the wiki article:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Ball_Express
 
But it was in the footnotes that I discovered a little gem.  Footnote No. 2 links to an article from The Railroad Gazette for August 1905, which describes "Handling Fast Freight on The Santa Fe."  There, among other things, I learned that in 1905 a fast "Red Ball" freight train could be expected to travel from Chicago to San Diego in nine days.  That's an average speed of 11 or 12 miles per hour, which is actually rather respectable for that time period.  In 1905, even the flagship California Limited required three days and three nights to cover that distance, and that was considered breathtaking.
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm


« Last Edit: Mar 16th, 2017, 10:44pm by Norm_Anderson » Logged
E8M 86 A-B
Former Member
Re: SF varnish power to Amtrak/Recalling the "Super C"
 
« Reply #41 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 11:35pm »
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Norm:
 
From the "Kan-Haul" page:
 
"..........the term "Red Ball" was a railroad phrase referring to express shipping of priorities and perishables (this originated with the SF about 1892 and was extensively used during the 1920's)......the trains themselves were marked with red balls, and the cleared express tracks were marked with red balls......"
 
BTW: Am quite familiar with the "Red Ball" truck operation of WW2; until fairly recently, these heroic men were every bit as obscured by time as were the famed Tuskegee Airmen....hidden American Heroes for many a year!
 
"NYO"


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